The Buffalo Bills safety sustain cardiac arrest during a Jan. 2 football game against the Cincinnati Bengals when he collapsed to the ground after tackling a player on the opposing team.
Medical staff immediately rushed to the field to treat Hamlin’s injury, performing CPR and giving the player oxygen before he was taken to the hospital in an ambulance in the first quarter of the game.
Bills representatives provided constant updates in the wake of the medical emergency, releasing statements and participating in interviews to update the public on Hamlin’s well-being. His teammates, fans, and coaches also showed their external support for the player through many tributes.
Although Hamlin was reported to be in “critical condition” in the days following the incident, it was confirmed that he was in good hands (apart from being surrounded by his family). Just over a week after his collapse, Hamlin was released from the hospital and back in the comfort of his own home.
Hamlin, who has been cleared to move around, has made several visits to the Bills’ practice facility and reunited with his teammates since being released from the hospital. He was reported to have maintained a “constructive and positive” outlook during the recovery process.
Recently, Hamlin was honored along with the first responders who rushed to the scene on Jan. 2, in addition to the medics who were by his side the entire time. He also appeared at the 2023 Super Bowl, where he received more love and honor.
Here’s everything you need to know about Hamlin’s road to recovery.
January 2, 2023: Damar Hamlin goes into cardiac arrest during a game
Hamlin collapsed on the field during a January 2nd Monday night football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in sudden cardiac arrest. He received CPR for 10 minutes and appeared to receive oxygen before being taken off the field in an ambulance.
The health scare came after he tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins early in the first quarter of the game. He quickly jumped back before suddenly falling to the ground.
January 3, 2023: Teammates visit Damar Hamlin in the hospital after his cardiac arrest
It was reported that several of Hamlin’s teammates stayed after the incident in Cincinnati to visit security at the hospital. According to ESPN reporter Coley Harvey, wide receiver Stefon Diggs, along with several other players and head coach Zac Taylor, visited Hamlin at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after the game.
January 4, 2023: Joe Biden calls Damar Hamlin’s parents after he collapses on the field
In addition to Hamlin’s teammates, coach, and fans, the President of the United States also showed support and concern for the player after the health scare. Joe Biden personally called Hamlin’s mom and dad on trips between Kentucky and Ohio.
Meeting with reporters in Kentucky before boarding Air Force One, Biden exposed that he had spoken with Hamlin’s parentages “at length” previous in the day.
January 5, 2023: Damara Hamlin’s trainer provided a forecast update
Bills and Hamlin’s agent posted a tweet regarding the security situation at the hospital, noting that he is “awake and has ‘shown remarkable improvement'” but is “still critically ill”.
Soon after the Bills’ announcement, Hamlin’s agent, Rob Butler, told CNN that security was stirring and holding hands with his family.
Later that night, Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott shared an update on Hamlin’s health with the media. He confirmed that his recovery looks “very encouraging”, according to updates exchanged between doctors.
January 7, 2023: Damar Hamlin shares first public message since cardiac arrest
Following statements released by the Bills and their coach, Hamlin wrote his first public message since his on-field collapse on Jan. 2. Not only did he give an update on his health, but he thanked his fans for their continuous support in the middle of a difficult time.
January 8, 2023: Damar Hamlin is honored by Buffalo Bills during his first game after cardiac arrest
During the Bills’ first game after Hamlin went into cardiac arrest, the team paid tribute to safety by wearing shirts that read “Love Damar 3” — in addition to wearing helmets emblazoned with No. 3, Hamlin’s number. Their jerseys also had a number sewn on the front.
Throughout the NFL pregame show, numerous fans were shown holding signs supporting Hamlin. The opening minutes of the show were devoted only to Hamlin’s recovery.
January 11, 2023: Damar Hamlin was released from the hospital after cardiac arrest
Just a week after his on-field health scare, the Bills released a statement announcing that Hamlin had been released from the hospital and headed home. It described the proper protocol adopted to ensure a safe departure.
Security underwent a “comprehensive medical evaluation” and “a series of cardiac, neurological, and vascular tests” after being transferred to Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute.
January 15, 2023: Damar Hamlin visits teammates two weeks after cardiac arrest
Two weeks after his cardiac arrest, Hamlin visited his teammates after being released from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute.
What a miracle to see him walk,” Kromer tweeted, adding that “all the guys were in great spirits” when Hamlin was at practice.
January 19, 2023: Damar Hamlin’s friend says he’s having a ‘long’ recovery
Although the player was released from the hospital and allowed to return home, a friend close to Hamlin told ESPN that he is still receiving oxygen support and his heart is being monitored regularly.
January 22, 2023: Damar Hamlin is honored in the first Bills and Bengals rematch since his cardiac arrest
The January 2nd game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills was postponed after Hamlin collapsed and was managed CPR on the ground. Their revenge didn’t come until January 22, when the teams made sure to honor the players upon their return to the field.
Fans of both the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals held touching tributes before kickoff, while the Bills shared a video of Hamlin at Highmark Stadium, along with his family, visiting the locker room before the game began.
January 26, 2023: The Mayor of Cincinnati hands Damar Hamlin’s healthcare team the key to the city
Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval handed over the key to the city to a team of fitness care providers from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who came to the aid of Buffalo Bills Safety after suffering a cardiac arrest on January 2nd.
January 28, 2023: Damar Hamlin talks about a cardiac arrest on Instagram
While Damar Hamlin released a statement on his social media accounts in the days next the cardiac arrest, he spoke openly for the first time in an Instagram video. In the clip, he expressed his gratitude to everyone who helped save his life in his horrific incident and helped him on his road to recovery.
He went on to name-drop several medical professionals and also gave a shout-out to medical professionals in both Cincinnati and Buffalo who helped him in his recovery. He also thanked his parents.
February 8, 2023: NFL players union doctor says Damar Hamlin ‘guaranteed’ to return to the field
Fans’ concerns about whether Hamlin would ever play football again were quelled when an NFL Players Association doctor said he believed the safety would likely return to the field after his recovery.
February 9, 2023: Damar Hamlin pays tribute to his first responders at NFL Honors
The first responders who protected Damar Hamlin’s life on January 2 were the stars of the 2023 NFL Honors as they were recognized for their work in quickly reviving Hamlin when he went into cardiac arrest on the ground.
They were introduced on stage by Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph, followed shortly by Hamlin, who received a standing ovation from NFL players and celebrities in the crowd.
February 12, 2023: Damar Hamlin participates in the Super Bowl
Following the NFL honors, the tribute to the medical team that saved Hamlin’s life continued at the 2023 Super Bowl. Security took the field before the big game for a touching moment with first responders and medical professionals.
February 13, 2023: Damar Hamlin says he will “eventually” return to the NFL
In his first television interview since his Jan. 2 health scare, Hamlin said he was “doing great” while speaking with Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan. “I’m still working on things. I’m still trying to process all the emotions that come from dealing with a situation like this.”
Hamlin said he didn’t want to get “so deep” into the specifics of what happened on Jan. 2, especially when it comes to what he remembers from that day, he recalled that “it was a crazy feeling.” He added, “Something I couldn’t describe,” he said of watching the footage. “Something I’m still processing, something I’m trying to work towards.